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Stretford, Manchester Parish, Salford Hundred
By 1490 most Gees were located in Lancashire and Cheshire, and until 1600 very few Gees lived outside of the area around Manchester in Lancashire. Cheshire and Lancaster lie side by side with the Mersey River dividing them. Adjacent to Cheshire is Derbyshire. Adjacent to Lancashire is Yorkshire. Manchester is in Lancashire, but the city influence extended into Cheshire. Stockport is four miles south of Manchester. Today Manchester has absorbed the nearby ancient market towns in both shires that thrived during the 17th century.
Lancashire is divided into 6 Hundreds. Hundreds were required to provide 100 knights to serve the king. Within Salford Hundred are the parishes shown on this map.
Salford means the ford where willow trees grow. The village of Salford is on the west side of the River Irwell from Manchester. During the 16th and 17th centuries it was separated from Manchester by the river, and a bridge between the two facilitated transportation and communication. The town of Salford received a charter from the Earl of Chester, but it was not a recognized borough until the 19th century.
The parishes serving the area around Manchester in Salford Hundred included Eccles Parish, which held the towns of Eccles, Eccleston (not to be confused with the Parish of Eccleston further north), and Eccleston at Chorley. Prestwich – Oldham Parish was split into two separate areas. Middleton Parish was cut into several small fragments as well as the larger, more central area. It is necessary to consider the distance between towns or hamlets, when considering proximity of families, not parish boundaries. In 1086 the two churches serving Salford Hundred, were St. Michaels, Oldham, and Manchester Cathedral. Salford Manor was inherited by Henry Bolingbroke, who became Henry IV and continues to be a Royal Manor today.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Gees were recorded in Manchester Parish, Ashton-Under-Lyne Parish, Middleton Parish, Bury Parish, Bolton le Moors Parish, Flixton Parish, Winwich Parish, Eccles Parish and Eccleston Parish.
Manchester Parish included Gee residents in Manchester Township, Stretford Township, Chorlton Township, Salford Township and Newton Township.
The Gee family owned land in Stretford, Salford and Manchester, and it seems clear that they were well established before the beginning of the 16th century. It is not clear what their relationship was but by the beginning of the century there were two, possibly three related family groups in the Salford/Manchester area. Henry and John appear to be the most prosperous at the beginning of the century, but the other, headed by Thomas, and Richard, was the other. In the early years they used unique naming patterns, but by the following century some distinctions become blurred and it is more difficult to attribute which line is being followed. This is compounded by the reality that they lived in the same area and were often involved in the same trades: farming, weaving, marketing cloth, and making clothing.
The Watling Road, which was improved by the Romans, ran from Chester to Manchester and crossed the township of Stretford. It was here that the road crossed the Mersey. On the opposite side of the river was Sale. This was an area of frequent flooding. From early years the bridge was called Crossford or Crossferry Bridge. In 1533 a rider, after crossing the river using a great timber bridge, saw first Ordsal Hall, belonging to Sir Alexander Radcliffe, Old Trafford of Trafford Park, Hulme Hall, and Lord Darby’s and Alparte Parke. In 1577 the inhabitants of Manchester petitioned the Queen’s Council, and then raised money to rebuild the ancient bridge.
Stretford Township lies between the Irwell and the Mersey and is in the south west corner of Stretford Parish. It has a level terrain that slopes down to the Mersey along its southern edge. The north eastern area of the parish is known as Trafford or Old Trafford. Longford is on the eastern border.
There are two ancient manors, one held by Hamon de Massey, who gave a moiety to Hugh de Stretford, for performing the services of a judge. The other was held by Henry de Trafford. Hamon de Massey gave Stretford to his daughter Margery, who in turn granted it to Richard de Trafford. By 1250 the Trafford family held both Stretford and Trafford manors. The family’s principal residence was at Trafford.
A chapel at Stretford was founded by the de Trafford family for the use of their tenants, and the chantry for the souls of Trafford ancestors existed as early as 1413. The chapel priest in 1547 was Charles Gee. The chapel had a chalice and two vestments at the time it was confiscated under Henry VIII. Services continued there however, as William Hodgkinson was the curate of Stretford in 1563 until 1586. There was no support for the curate during this period, but the register was faithfully kept. Marriages and burials were conducted through the collegiante church in Manchester, as were most christenings. Eventually the burial ground was improved so that burials could occur there and in 1718 the chapel at Stretford was rebuilt on the original site of the dilapidated chapel. This new building is pictured above.
By the late 16th century the Trafford family found it necessary to sell several estates because of declining fortunes. Edmund de Trafford was a zealous prosecutor of religious recusants (Catholics) in his role as sheriff. He arranged for his son, Edmund, to marry Margaret, daughter of John Booth of Barton. Evidently there were difficulties with this alliance, as the son, Edmund disinherited the children of the marriage. Trafford and the Trafford share of the Barton estates which he had received through the marrieage to Margaret descended to the children of his second marriage to Mildred, daughter of Thomas Cecil, first Earl of Exeter. Their eldest son, Cecil Trafford, was knighted in 1617. He was a Protestant persecutor of Catholics. However, in 1632 Cecil became a Catholic and the king seized 1/3 of his estates which he leased to farmers. Interestingly, Cecil took the King’s side during the Civil War, found himself imprisioned, and his estates seized. In 1653 Sir Cecil petitioned for the return of 2/3rds of his estate under the Recusants Act. In 1666 117 hearths were taxed in Stretford. The manor house of Sir Cecil Trafford had twenty-four hearths.
The records from volume one of the old Stretford Register covers the period 1598 until 1710. The Register for the Collegiate Church of Manchester begins in 1573. Earlier records must come from other source. Beginning in 1603 the entries are in a corrupt form of Latin and English until 1612. From 1615 to 1623 the entries are rare, and in 1624 only one name was recorded, four in 1625, and none in 1626. Possibly this indicates there was no clerk at the chapel. There are other years after this with no entries. The decade between 1640 and 1650 continues to be an incomplete recorde of births, marriages and deaths. Most burials were at Manchester, as were most marriages, or in the home parish of the bride. After this the register was no longer kept by the clergy, but buy qualified persons and the number of entries grows significantly. A history of the Ancient chapel of Stretford in Manchester Parish by Henry Thomas Crofton, states there were few Puritan entries in the register. What follows is a purely speculative arrangement of families, except where documentation has allowed support. This is the situation with John Gee of Manchester and Richard Gee, clothier and the others associated with Manchester where records are available.
Stretford Township 1641 Protestation List
John, Gyles, Lamuell, John, and John
Thomas and Ralph
Nathaniel, Joseph and Jonathan
Early records in Stretford
In 1543 William, John, John, and Richard Gee were listed by Edmunde Trafford, Esquire in a roll of tax subsidy to the crown for Stretford. The valuations were in goodes, these being crops such as corn, wheat, lambs, etc. William for xl shillings, John Gee for xx shillings, John Gee for xl shillings, Richard Gee for xx shillings. It is not clear what their relationship was to William Gee whose widow was noted in the 1543 Salford Hundred Tax List.
In 1556 Giles Gee of Stretford, yeoman, made an agreement with Robert Tatton of Wythenshaw, Esquire on October 24, 1556.
The Assize of Arms in 1252 stated that yeomen having a worth of more than nine marks or less than twenty, a sword, a bow and arrows, or bills and battle ax. Land ownership often came as a result of military service to the lord of the manor.
Byll: A polearm with a wide cutting convex blade with a spike at the top and rear.
Sallet: A helmet with a small, hinged visor, and a long, articulated tail, to protect the back of the neck.
Splint: A gutter-shaped plate protecting only the outside of the arm which was usually mass produced armor for the common soldier.
Jack: a cheap defensive coat of fabric or leather, with small plates sandwiched and stitched between it layers.
In May, 1569 a muster roll for Stretford listed the names of all the able men that personally appeared and mustered before Sir Robert Worslye, Knight of Booths in Stretford. Listed in the muster with their weaponry were:
Richard Gee, as not able to serve, a Jacke (jack), a stele cape, (steel cap), and a byll (bill);
James Gee, a Jacke and a byll;
Rauffe Gee, a Jacke, a Sallet, and a pair of splents;
Gyles Gee a Jacke, a stele cape, and a byll;
Charles Gee, no equipment.
The total able men in Stretford were 47, and Robert Trafford was the Captain commanding the others. There were 10 men also noted as not able, who were likely too old or infirm. This means there were probably less than 50 families living in Stretford Hundred.
As time went by Stretford provided other able men to fulfill the military needs of the monarch. In 1582 Sir Edmund Trafford was required to raise nine men as part of 50 for Salford Hundred who were to leave from Liverpool evidently for transport to Ireland. The next year their levy was increased from 9 to 50 men. These conscripts were sent to Chester, and embarked for Ireland with the entire contingent of 200. The soldiers from Salford Hundred were under the command of Sir Edmund Trafford. In 1587, when the Spanish Armada threatened, Manchester Parish provided over 250 men in arms. It stands to reason that some of those conscripted over the years included Gee sons who did not return to Salford Hundred.
William Gee, Stretford died before 1543
Stretford is in Manchester Parish as is Salford Township. It is not clear if William, whose widow was noted in the Salford Hundred Tax Levy, was from Salford Township or from Stretford. William may have been a householder and tenant to Sir Edmund Trafford in Stretford. William’s relationship to John of Manchester and Henry of Chester as well as Thomas of Salford is unclear. It also seems evident that there was another early resident, Edmund or Edward Gee. The name is used by those whose family originated in Stretford.
John Gee, noted in 1543, removed to Manchester
There were two Johns living in Stretford in 1543 when the tax levy was taken. One was levied for xx shillings and the other for xl shillings. There is more information however about these two Johns that allows us to identify who they were.
In 1547, John Gee, tenant of Sir Edmund Trafford’s widow, stated that he was 60 years old in a deposition. This places his birthdate in 1480. The record from the suit sheds light on how the commerce in cloth and clothing was conducted. In this suit Richard Crompton, of Manchester, a buyer and seller of cloth, had certain cloth he took to the home of James Honkynson which he packed into two packs, without them being sealed. The unsealed cloth was to be taken to John Offeley, of Chester Merchant, but instead he brought them to Streford, two miles from Manchester, on the way to Chester. Margaret Trafford, mistress of the manor, head that the packs of cloth were set out for sale, sent James Bordman to seize the cloth. The cloth was taken to Manchester and appraised and sold. The money was set aside for the moiety and the King’s auditor. John Gee, of Stretford, age 60, tenant to Sir Edmund Trafford testified with others that the plaintiff had tried to pay the tax for sealing, but that Bordman would not accept the fee, seizing the cloth instead. Pleadings and Depositions in the Duchy Court of Lancaster (pg. 9 Fishwick editor)
John Gee, the tenant, evidently held a copyhold for a close called Wallroods which was a field next to the river. It can be assumed that this copyhold was for a set number of generations which expired in 1588 upon the death of John Gee of Deansgate, in Manchester. In February 6, 1588/89, Sir Edmund Trafford filed a Bill in the Duchy Chancery against John Gee of Manchester and Henry Ratclyff and John Gregorie of Stretford, to recover a close called Wallroods in Strettforthe. Wallroods was a field adjoining the river close to the overflow weir, and the name continued to be used for generations.
It is most likely that John Gee of Manchester had sublet the property to Henry Ratclyff and John Gregorie of Stretford, or they were partners. The Ratclyff and Gregorie families were very early residents of Stretford. Holding this land, as well as property in Manchester and Salford was why John was included in the Salford Hundred Tax List of Manchester Parish in 1543.
John was the father of John, Henry, Edward, Raphe, Thomas, and Francis, Ann, Alyce, and Elizabeth. Based on the naming it is likely that he was a not a son or brother to William Gee who died before 1543.
Richard Gee, Clothier, noted in 1543, removed to Manchester
The first we learn about Richard is in the levy of 1543 and then the Stretford muster of 1569. In 1569 he is included in the muster and his military supplies are listed as a jack, a steel cap and a bill. However, it was noted that he was not able to serve, likely because of his age. Richard removed to Manchester about the time of the muster and was first noted there in 1571. While he was still considered from Stretford, it is clear that he also resided in Manchester. He left descendents in both locations.
Records in Manchester and Stretford for Richard Gee
1576 in September, John son of Richard Gee of Stretford was buried
1583 Margret, wife to Richard Gee of Stretford drowned.
1585 Richard of Stretford, householder, was buried.
John Gee, son of Richard Gee, Clothier
John married Isabell Heywoodd in February, 1614. His children were recorded in the Stretford Chapel. His son George removed to Manchester where he was a shoemaker and father of a famous cleric, Edward Gee.
Records for John Gee
1616 Richard a son of John Gee of Stretford died
1617 George son of John of Stretford
1624 a dau Ellen
1628 a dau Alis this entry notes John a son of Richard
1632 Ann daughter died
1633, January a son Charles baptized
1635 Samuel son died
1665 John Gee, the eldest, was buried June, Yeoman
1668 Oct. Iszabell Gee widow buried
John Gee of Gorsehill
Records for John Gee
1680Alice Gee dau of John Gee of Gorsehill born and baptized November
1682 Catherine baptized Oct, 1682
1692 Ap. 19 Alice a daughter of John Gee died
1692 Ap. 22 Katherine daughter of John Gee died
1693 Sep Katherine daughter of John Gee died
In 1698 the will of John Gee of Manchester, yeoman was filed.
James Gee, noted 1533
It is noted: 24th Henry VIII (1533) _Ralph Prestwiche, William Bolton, and others, tenants of Withynshawe, against Sir Ralph Longford, Knight, Thomas Chorleton, James Gee and others, relative to a disputed title to a mansion-place, messuages and lands, a wear or fishgarth, and common of Turbary, and right of way through Mosse-side to Manchester, with interrogatories and depositions thereon. The places and parties concerned in the action were Holme, Withynshawe, Wetyngshaa, Withyngton Moss, Mosse-side, and Manchester Church. Pg. 338 History of the Foundations in Manchester of Christs’s college, chetham’s hospital, and The Free Grammar School. Longford is in Stretford Parish, Holm (Hulme), and Withynshawe are adjacent to Stretford.
Records at Stretford for James Gee
1576 in December a daughter Jane died
1590 in September his wife Ellina died
The descendents of James Gee, noted in 1533
James son of James
Records for James Gee
1598 in February a daughter Jone
1600 in November a daughter Elline
1601 September he married Elizabeth Woosencroft
John Gee son of James
Records for John Gee
1607 a son James (Jacobus) alias Mosse, baptized March
1608 May 20 married Anne Mosse
In 1610 John Gee married Margaret Booth at Manchester. She may have been the daughter of Humphrey Booth of Salford Township who sponsored the building of the Sacred Trinity church in 1634.
1613 Margarete dau of John
1619/20 Katherine daughter died
1622 Humphrey son of John
1622/3 Samuel a son died
1624 a dau Ellen
1625 Robert a son died
1627 Richard a son died
1631 April John Gee died
1638 June, Alice wife of John Gee died
Charles Gee, noted in 1569 muster, son of James
Charles was noted in the muster by Trafford in 1569. He was likely a young man at that time as he did not possess any military weapons. As his birth was about 1540 to 1550, he may well have been named by Charles Gee, priest at Stretford. In 1583, it is recorded in Manchester that Elline, daughter of Charles Gee of Stretford, died. His death is not recorded, but it must have occurred between 1583 and the entry in 1594 that Elizabeth, widow to Charles Gee was buried at Manchester.
Records for Charles Gee
1583 Aug 8 a dau Elline died
1594 Elizabeth widow to Charles Gee
Charles Gee, the elder, died 1616, son of Giles
Records for Charles Gee
1598 May 16 a son Giles died
1598 May 27 a son Richard died
1600 Nov 17 a dau Anne
1603 Feb 7 a son Samuell died
1603 Ellinor Gee, baptized Nov. 1603
1607 Charles Gee, servant to George Tetlow died (apprenticed)
1609 A dau Anne died same
1608/9 Jan. 27 an infant to Charles Gee died
1616 Nov. Charles Gee the elder of Stretford
Charles Gee, Yeoman
Records for Charles Gee
1626 a daughter Isabell died
1636 Charle Gee yeoman died.
John Gee of Peel House, Edge Lane, son of Charles
Records for John Gee
1631 April a son Charles baptized
1634 August a son James son of John
1637 a son Samuel died
1638 June 12 a son John son of John of Stretford
1640 April 12 a son William son of John of Stretford
1642 Joseph son of John Gee of Stretford (M)
1646 August Alice (Ann) a daughter died (M)
1647 Sept. Alexander Gee baptized
1651 June Jorge (George) baptized
1677 December, John Gee of the Pale was buried
Richard Gee, Yeoman, son of James
Richard Gee, with William Mosse was a warden of the chapel in Stretford in 1675. Richard Gee was the father of James, Charles who died very young, Charles, George and Humfrey. Their births were recorded in the Stretford Registry and at Manchester. In 1593 Richard married Elizabeth Wyrral. Their son James was baptized in August, 1599. Then, their son Charles was baptized in February, 1601/02. This son died and another son, in 1604 was named Charles. There are no more records for Richard until 1622, when the birth of Humfrey. This is probably because the register was so poorly kept during this period. Humfrey was his last child, but the records tell us that others were born between 1605 and 1621. In April, 1631 Richard’s wife died and was buried at Manchester, as were his second was his second wife, Alice in 1675. He also buried three children at Manchester: Joan in 1654; Samuel in 1661, and another daughter Joan, in 1664. Richard Gee, Yeoman of Stretford, died in July, 1690 and was buried at Manchester. His will was filed that year at Chester. The following December, John son of Richard Gee, late of Stretford, was buried at Manchester.
Records for Richard Gee
1593 married Elizabeth Wyrral
1599 James died
1631 wife of Richard Gee buried at Manchester
1690 Richard Gee, Yeoman of Stretford died in July, 1690
Joan a dau died in 1654
Samuel a son died in 1661
Joan a daughter died in 1664
There are no further records of Richard. It would seem likely that he remarried after the death of Elizabeth. If he did it was not recorded at Stretford or Manchester.
Richard Gee was a constable in Stretford in 1703.
Records for Richard Gee
1652 March a dau Mary
1654 Jan. a dau stillborn
1655 a dau Iszabell
1658 a son John was buried in 1690, at Manchester was noted as a son of Richard Gee of Stretford
1661 a son Samuel, born in March, buried in August
1662 a dau Martha
1666 a dau Anna baptized May, buried in Jan. 1667
1648 Margaret wife of Charles Gee died (M)
1687 Charles of Ashton Upon Mersey, will
John Gee of Higgine Lane
In 1643 John Gee was the Constable of Stretford and collected the tax to sustain the Parliamentary Army levied by Parliament. It is not stated which John Gee this was.
Records for John Gee
1643 Jan 22 a son Joseph son of John of Stretford
1647/8 Feb.Isabel a daughter of John Gee of Higgine Lane in Stretford died
1678 Allis dau John Gee of Higgine Lane born
1682 Allis born Aug, baptized Sept
1683 John Gee Higgine Lane overseer of poore for the same year
1683 John Gee and John Mosse Chapel wardens for the year
William Gee, noted in 1543, removed to Eccles
William Gee was assessed for xl shillings in the levy of 1543, but he was not included in the 1569 muster. There are no further records for William in Stretford or in Manchester. However, in Eccles Parish, at St. Mary’s in Barton upon Irwell in December, 1576 Alicea Gee, widow of Willilam Gee married Oliver Johnson. I believe his descendents will be found in Eccles.
Giles Gee, noted in 1569
Giles Gee was noted in the muster of 1569. His military equipment included a Jacke, a stele cape, and a byll. A daughter Elizabeth was born in 1577. The death of Elline, wife of Giles Gee was noted in Manchester in 1582. Giles died the next year and was also buried at Manchester.
Thomas Gee, son of Giles
1611 Feb. 4, Thomas Gee and Mary Booth Parish of Manchester, by William Hickson, Clerk, Curate of Stretford at Stretford. Thomas Gee noted in the records of the Court Leet, Manchester in January 1620/21. Thomas Gee of Stretford, yeoman buried in May, 1633 and his will was proved at Chester. 1649 Marie wife of Thomas Gee died is likely a record of her death. It would appear that sons William and John settled in Manchester.
Records for Thomas Gee
Gyles baptized December 1613
Margarett baptized September 1614
Richard a son died 1622 (M)
Samuell a son Aug 1617
Samuell baptized August 1626
John Gee householder, noted in 1543, d. 1579
John was noted in the Stretford tax levy of 1543. The Manchester Cathedral Register notes the death of John Gee, householder of Stretford in August, 1579. In 1601 the death of Elline, widow of John Gee of Stretford was also recorded in Manchester.
Humphrey son of John
Humphrey Gee was born in 1622. He was not counted in the Protestation in 1641 so the date given for his birth is likely off by a year. 1662 Humphrey Gee was buried May, 1662.
Records for Humphrey
1647 July a dau Mary
1650 Oct. a son Joseph
1652 a dau Marret (Margret) was buried
1653 a son stillborn, buried July, 1653
1654 Sept. a son John
1661 a son Samuell
The next generation
It is noted that the wife of Gyles Gee of Stretford was buried at Didsbury in 1648. The minister at Stretford during this time was also attending to Didsbury chapel. His entries were inconsistent.
James born Oct., baptized Oct. 1668
Jane born Aug. baptized Sept. 1673
At Flixton, James Gee of Stretford was buried 1705
James Silk weaver Administration 1711
Alice Gee, widow 1729
Lemuel Gee was noted in the Protestation of 1640. he is also noted in 1605/51 for the birth of a daughter in 1650. No other information has beenfound.
Eles (Alice) born Jan. 1703/04
Esibell (Isabell) born Oct. 1707
Manchester Cathedral Records and Stretford Register 1598-1837
The Lancashire Parish Register Society, 2008
Elizabethe the reputed daughter of Wm Chorlton & Ellen Gee baptized Oct. 1629
Mary Gee and Edward Percifull both of Manchester married at Stretford Chapel April, 1651
Nathaniel Gee of Chorlton a dau Marget baptized April, 16531656 Mary Gee of Stretford widow married John Harrison of Stretford yeoman son of Richard Harrison, deceased.
Issabell Gee, widow, buried Feb. 1666
Alis Gee buried April 1 then Alis a dau of Alis Gee baptized April 2 and buried April 8, 1676.
Alis Gee Aprl 1, 1676 of Stretford, deceased in childbed of a bastard. 1676 April 8, Mary daughter of the aforesaid Alice Gee
John Gee a son of Isabel Gee buried June, 1650
Ann Gee buried April 9th 1661
Will of John Gee of Geecroft filed 1646
Will of Mary of Stretford, widow filed 1649 at Chester
Additional Records regarding James Gee and Robert Gee
In January 1726, William Davenport of Bramhall, esquire, with Charles Newton of Hurleston, esquire, Thomas Assheton of Asheley, esquire, and Talbot Warren of Stockport, esquire issued a mortgage to James Gee of Manchester, gentleman, for Davenport House Farm.
In 1726/27 William Davenport of Bramhall, esquire, with Charles Newton of Hurleston, esquire, Thomas Assheton of Assheley, esquire and Talbot Warren of Stockport, esquire to James Gee of Manchester County of Lancashire, gentleman a mortgage of Davenport House Farm. Conveyance of Miles End House in Stockport and Davenports Farm in Bramhall. John Shallcrosse, and James kelsall of Bradshaw, gentlemen at the request of William Davenport, Charles Hurleston, Thomas Aston and Talbot Warren to William Broome of Chorlton, County of Lancashire, gentleman, in trust for James Gee and William Berttlebank of Hatherside, County of Derby Yeoman.
1728 will of James Gee
1734 Articles of Agreement concerning premises in Bramhal and Manchester, Urmston, Withington and Chorlton, County of Lancashire, Crew Ardern of Manchester, County of Lancashire, gentleman to Henry Ardern of Stockport, esquire and Elizabeth Gee of Manchester, widow. Conveyance to make a tenant to the precipe. Prem as above. Crewe Arderne and w. Jane, with consent of Henry Arderne and Elizabeth Gee, to Nathaniel Barber of Chester, gentleman.
Timperly lies a few miles south of Stretford. Bowdon Parish church of St. Mary included portions of Ashton-upon-Mersey, not covered by St. Martin’s. It is noted in 1630 that a license at Bowdon was granted to the Reverend’s Janny and Robert Gee to perform a marriage.
1574 a son Even1577 a son Thomas
1616 a son John
1610 a son Ralph1616 a dau Elizabeth
1618 a son John
1621 a dau Elizabeth
1626 a son John
1645 a dau Margaret
1706 a son John